Five Effective Home Remedies for Seasonal Allergies
Natural Remedies for Stubborn Allergies
Do you suffer from seasonal allergies? If you are like me and are prone to sneezing, a stuffy nose and itchy, watery eyes during allergy season, you know how annoying this can be. I have suffered from seasonal allergies for years and have found a few natural remedies that work just as well as over the counter drugs. Here is a list of the home remedies that have been the most successful in helping me cope with my seasonal allergies. The natural remedies listed here are not just great for allergies: they are ingredients that are used for a variety of ailments.
1) Use a Neti Pot
My number one home remedy for allergies is without a doubt, my neti pot. Basically a neti pot is a small pot with a long spout that is used to irrigate the inside of your nose. To rinse your nose, the user would generally use distilled salt water or a nasal rinse, which is poured into one nostril, flushing out your nasal passage. Before you get grossed out and decide it’s not for you, let me say that at first I was very hesitant to use a neti pot, but I am glad that I did: it has done wonders to help me breathe better! I was skeptical at first, then I was afraid of it, but when I finally got desperate enough to use one, I felt really stupid for not using it sooner.
When you have allergies you blow your nose a lot which causes a lot of irritation. In turn, your nasal cavity becomes inflamed and your body produces a lot of mucus. This is where a neti pot comes in, because it helps soothe the inside of your nose and helps flush out all that gunk that’s trapped inside. It also helps flush out pollen and others allergy triggers.
Neti Pots aren't just for allergies either: they are great for colds too. If you are battling a cold or a fever, a neti pot will help reduce the symptoms.
Benefits of Using a Neti Pot
- Clears up sinus infections, seasonal allergies and chronic stuffy nose.
- Helps fights colds and nasal dryness
- Fights the flu
- Removes mucus, bacteria and allergens
- Cures nasal drip
How to use a Neti Pot
All you need to do is fill your neti pot with water. DON’T USE TAP WATER. Tap water contains bacteria that can be detrimental to your nasal passage. Make sure you always use boiled filtered water or distilled water in your neti pot. You can boil the water first to kill bacteria and then add a nasal rinse or salt. Always follow the instructions included with your neti pot and take them very seriously.
Use warm water or room temperature water over cold water. Tilt your head at a 45 degree angle and make sure that your head is slightly forward and not leaning back. Gently pour the water from the neti pot into one of your nostrils. You can do this over the sink or in the shower. The water will be poured into one nostril and drain out the other. There is a chance that pouring the water into your nose will sting a little, but this is normal, especially if you have been blowing your nose a lot. After a few uses your nose will start to heal itself and it will hurt less.
Things to Avoid for Allergy Relief
- Cigarette smoke
- Dust, pollen and dander
- Processed foods
- Milk and dairy
- Deep fried foods
2) Grape Seed Extract
As the name suggests, grape seed extract is derived from the seeds of grapes. Grapes themselves are a wonder food. They are high in polyphenols: polyphenols are a great source of antioxidants (which are great for preventing cancer and improving overall health). While drinking wine and grape juice are a great source of polyphenols, grape seeds have a much larger concentration of them. Not only is it great for allergies, it’s used to fight aging, high blood pressure, it helps fight cavities and it even helps the liver. Even if you don’t have allergies you should be taking grape seed extract for everything else!
Benefits of Grape Seed Extract
- Fights allergies
- Known to help lower blood pressure
- Helps fight cancer: in some studies it was reported that taking grape seed extract made tumors smaller and reduced the frequency of them.
- Lowers Cholesterol
- Helps increase blood flow and circulation in the body
- Improved appearance of skin tone
3) Essential Oils Help with Allergies
There are many essential oils that work very well to relieve allergy symptoms. Oils that are known to reduce allergies include: peppermint, lavender, lemon and ginger. They work very well on their own or you can use them together in a combination.
Here are the ways to use essential oils to relieve allergy symptoms:
Topically: Try rubbing some essential oil on the back of your neck or on the soles of your feet. Rub lavender oil underneath your eyes, on your temples, under your nose and behind your ears. Make sure you always add a carrier oil to your essential oil: never use undiluted essential oil on your skin.
Internally: Take a glass of water and squeeze a few drops of lemon, peppermint or lavender oil into the glass. You can also take a spoonful of honey and add your favorite essential oil to it. Try making a tea with chamomile, peppermint or ginger oil. Always make sure that if you are going to ingest essential oils, that you find some that are food grade.
Inhalation: You can inhale them directly from the bottle, or you can pour a few drops of lavender oil onto a tissue and smell it throughout the day to give yourself some relief. You can also add a few drops of essential oil to a vaporizer or a bowl of hot water: add 2-3 drops of peppermint oil in some hot water or a vaporizer and inhale the steam to clear your nasal passages.
Spraying Into the Air: Put about 15 drops of your favorite oil into a spray bottle with about an ounce of water. Shake the bottle and spray this into the room you are in.
Use a Combination of Essential Oil
In combination, essential oils work even better. A very popular combination of oils for allergies are a mixture that contains peppermint, lavender and lemon oil. I make a tea with it, adding a few drops of each essential oil to the brew. If you find the taste is too strong, you can mix it with juice instead. You will find that the combination of all three oils works really well for relieving allergy symptoms.
The Best Essential Oils for Seasonal Allergies
- Tea Tree
Quercetin is a bioflavonoid that naturally occurs in many fruits and vegetables. In several studies it’s been shown that foods high in Quercetin help fight the effects of allergens: it inhibits the release of histamines that cause allergy symptoms. During allergy season, try to eat a lot of foods that contain Quercetin. Foods high in Quercetin include onions, red apples and kale. It’s also available in a supplement. It can also help treat asthma and prevent asthma attacks when used in conjunction with your medication. Always check with your doctor to make sure that it’s safe to take, especially if you are already taking medication.
Foods that Contain Quercetin
- Red apples
- Red wine
- Chamomile tea
- Dill weed
- Sweet potatoes
- ....and much more!
5) Turmeric for Allergies
Turmeric is a spice that is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. This spice has properties that are great for relieving allergy symptoms, much the same way that Quercetin helps allergies. You can add turmeric to your food and you can also take turmeric capsules. To get the most out of your turmeric make sure you take it with pepper, or try to buy turmeric pills that contain pepper as well.